CHESTERTOWN-- The North Warren Girls Basketball team has only three Seniors on the 2010-11 squad, but that's not worrying Cougar fans.
They know that the roster of players, heavy with Juniors, includes about 10 stellar athletes who know how to overcome obstacles to win.
And this is an understatement.
These athletes were members of the field hockey team - ranked last in the Adirondack League at the beginning of the season this fall, but with determination and courage, fought through the season to the very top of the league, winning a co-championship as well as making it to the Section II finals.
Add to this group Ashley Maresca and Cassie Maday who were members of the North Warren cross-country team that waged a successful campaign all the way to the state tournament finals.
Cougar Girls Basketball Coach P.J. Hogan is counting on these players' outstanding determination and athleticism to transfer to the hardwoods this season.
His core group of returning veterans include Seniors Lindsey Meade, Morgan Tennyson and Alana Kilcullen, and Juniors Kiera Warner and Cassie Maday.
They are joined by newcomers Margo Broderick, Chantal Millington, Ashley Maresca, Jenna Monroe, Kiersten Williamson, Melanie Yasco, and Laura Saloman, a tennis sensation and a foreign exchange student from Europe.
Lindsey Meade is a three-year Varsity player, a forward, and she'll be backed up by two experienced starting guards, Cassie Maday and Kiera Warner.
Hogan said he expects Meade to take control inside, while getting a lot of scoring from Warner outside.
Warner and Maday, he said have athletic talent, combining speed with capable ball-handling.
Hogan praised Warner's father, Larry Warner, North Warren's Junior Varsity coach, for the skills he develops in the players. Warner coaches AAU ball, helping the players boost their experience during the off-season.
Friday, the team was dealing with several injuries and illness, with nearly a half-dozen players sidelined.
"Hopefully we'll stay healthy and get things gelling," Hogan said, noting that the team's season opens with a tournament Friday and Saturday in Peru.
The athleticism and exemplary determination of this year's group may translate to new achievements for the team, past the 2009-10 squad's 10-9 record and third place in the Adirondack League's Western Division - good accomplishments for a school with a small enrollment.
"The players are showing signs of coming together," Hogan said. "They are playing very well in stretches. We have an exciting season ahead."
North Warren Cougars
2010-11 Girls Basketball Schedule
Dec. 3-4 Peru Tip-Off Trny. Away 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10 Hartford Central Home 6:00 p.m. Dec. 14 Hadley-Luzerne Home 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 17 Salem Central Away Home 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 22 Corinth Central Home 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 29 Johnsburg Central Home 12:00 p.m.
Jan. 5 Fort Ann Central ACC 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 7 Whitehall Central Away 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 12 Lake George Away 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 14 Argyle Central Away 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 19 Warrensburg Home 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 21 Fort Edward Home 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 1 Hadley-Luzerne Away 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4 Corinth Central Away 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 9 Lake George Home 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 11 Warrensburg Away 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 14 Crossover Games TBA TBA
North Warren Cougars
2009-10 Varsity Girls Basketball Roster
Morgan Tennyson 5'10" Sr. Ctr./Fwd.
Lindsey Meade 5'9" Sr. Fwd./Ctr.
Alana Kilcullen 5'7" Sr. Fwd.
Kiera Warner 5'8" Jr. Guard
Ashley Maresca 5'7" Jr. Gd./Fwd.
Jenna Monroe 5'4" Jr. Guard
Kiersten Williamson 5'0" Jr. Guard
Chantal Millington 5'3" Jr. Guard
Cassie Maday 5'7" Jr. Guard
Melanie Yasco 5'0" Jr. Guard
Margo Broderick 5'9" Jr. Fwd.
Laura Salonen 5'8" Jr. Fwd.
Coach: P.J. Hogan